New Orleans Jazz Fest is winding down and that means two weekends of gorging ourselves on crawfish bread and fried green tomatoes is over. It's time to balance our diets with a healthier New Orleans seafood favorite, and what is better than blackened redfish? Blackening is similar to pan grilling but with a heavy hand of seasonings. When fresh fish meets a super hot skillet, magic happens. Actually a lot of smoke happens as well. You may actually want to open all the windows and turn on the vent before you start, or you plan on cooking extra for the fire fighters who will come to turn off your smoke alarm.

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Seasoned Cast Iron skillet
Well ventilated kitchen

Ingredients for this New Orleans Seafood Favorite

6 redfish fillets ( or fillets from a fish with a relativity tough texture, i.e. stripper, blue cat, etc)
¾ lb unsalted melted butter
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2-½ tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
¾ tsp ground white pepper
¾ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp dried thyme leaves
½ tsp dried oregano leaves


The fillets should not be more than ¾ inch thick. Heat a cast iron skillet over very high heat beyond the smoking stage and you see white ash in the skillet bottom (the skillet cannot be too hot for this New Orleans dish), at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pour two tablespoons of melted butter in each of 6 small dishes; set aside and keep warm. Reserve the remaining butter in its skillet. Heat the serving plates in a 250F oven. Thoroughly combine the spices in a small bowl. Dip each fillet in the reserved melted butter so that both sides are well coated; then sprinkle seasoning mix generously and evenly on both sides of the fillets, patting by hand. Place in the hot skillet and pour 1 tsp melted butter on top of each fillet (be careful as the butter may flame up). Cook, uncovered over the same high heat until the underside looks charred, about 2 minutes (the time will vary according to the fillet's thickness and the heat of the skillet). Turn the fish over and again pour 1 tsp butter on top; cook until fish is done, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with remaining fillets. Serve each fillet while piping hot. To serve, place fillet and a ramekin of butter on each heated serving plate.